Lithium-ion battery electrolyte prices continue to decline, market price competition pressure continues to increase

by:CTECHi     2021-07-07

Addition Based on the good expectations of the new energy vehicle market space, some large-scale and strong domestic companies have begun to set foot in the field of lithium-ion battery electrolytes, and have seized opportunities to expand production capacity, and market price competition pressure continues to increase . Lithium battery electrolyte, which conducts ions between the positive and negative electrodes of the lithium battery, is the guarantee for the high voltage and high specific energy performance of the lithium ion battery. Studies have shown that the choice of electrolyte is very important to the performance of lithium-ion batteries' energy density, cycle performance, rate performance, storage performance, etc. It also has a great impact on the safety performance of the battery. With the development of the new energy automobile industry and the energy storage industry and the continuous expansion of the market, the demand for power batteries will continue to grow steadily in the future. But the other side of the matter is that based on the good expectations of the new energy vehicle market space, some large-scale and strong domestic enterprises have begun to get involved in the field of lithium-ion battery electrolytes, and they have seized the opportunity to expand production capacity and market price competition. The pressure keeps increasing. It is worth noting that the competition in the power battery industry is becoming increasingly fierce, the industry reshuffle is intensified, and the price competition of power batteries is gradually transmitted to the upstream, making the competition in the electrolyte market increasingly fierce. Recently, the relevant person in charge of Xinzhoubang said in an interview that while maintaining a reasonable profit margin, the price of lithium battery electrolyte will show a certain downward trend in the future, and the gross profit will also decrease. According to Battery China.com, Xinzhoubang’s lithium-ion battery chemicals business achieved operating income of 482 million yuan in the first half of 2018, a year-on-year increase of 19.75%; gross profit margin was 27.10%, a year-on-year decrease of 7.14%. Coincidentally, the financial report for the first half of 2018 announced by Tianci Materials, another domestic lithium battery electrolyte giant, has also confirmed the trend of falling electrolyte prices. According to the announcement of Tianci Materials, the company achieved a net profit of 445 million yuan attributable to shareholders of listed companies in the first half of this year, an increase of 151.67% over the same period of the previous year, but it was mainly due to the company's shareholding subsidiary Jiangsu Ronghui General Lithium Co., Ltd. during the reporting period. Changes in accounting methods and the disposal of Ronghui Lithium’s equity have led to an increase in investment income. Excluding the contribution of 429 million yuan to the net profit attributable to shareholders of listed companies due to the above reasons, the net profit attributable to shareholders of listed companies dropped by 91.10% from the same period last year. The reason for the decrease was mainly due to the intensified market competition during the reporting period and the decrease in the sales price of the company's electrolyte products, which resulted in a decrease in gross profit margin. In addition, the company expects that the gross profit margin in the second half of the year will continue to decline by about 5% compared with the first half of the year. The decline in gross profit margin, in addition to the impact of overcapacity downstream, the strengthening of environmental protection supervision is also an important factor. The relevant person in charge of Xinzhoubang said that the tightening of domestic environmental protection supervision has led to a tightening of raw material supply, which has led to a greater increase in raw material prices. The company's lithium-ion battery chemicals cost growth higher than the revenue growth rate, which ultimately led to a decline in its gross profit. In addition, changes in electrolyte gross profit margin are not only affected by changes in the industry's competitive landscape, but also greatly affected by upstream materials such as lithium hexafluorophosphate. For companies that purchase purely outsourced solutes and additive-synthesized electrolytes, the profitability fluctuations are even more pronounced. The key to reducing the decline in gross profit margin and maintaining a high level of profitability still depends on the company's technological Ru0026D and innovation capabilities, especially for the fiercely competitive electrolyte market. The 'Power Battery Blue Book' (2018) shows that the electrolyte is prepared from solvents, solutes, additives and other raw materials in a certain proportion. Under normal circumstances, the proportion of solvent is 80-90%, lithium salt accounts for about 8%, and additives account for 5-10%. The specific ratio is determined according to the needs of downstream customers. But in essence, in addition to the necessary process control, the core barrier of the electrolyte lies in the formulation and customization. Electrolyte products need to be compatible with the user's positive and negative materials, and optimize and improve some performance requirements. Therefore, for different users, the electrolyte often involves different proportions and additives for customization. In addition, considering that the difference in electrolyte performance is mostly reflected in additives. Technological innovation in formulas and additives has become a killer for competition among enterprises. There are many types of additives, and different lithium-ion battery manufacturers have different requirements for battery use and performance, and the focus of the selected additives is also different. Additive preparation barriers are relatively high, products require 99.999% purity, and previous products also require 99.53% purity, and environmental protection requirements are becoming more and more stringent, and the current market concentration is relatively high. As new energy vehicles have increasingly higher requirements for cruising range indicators, in order to increase battery energy density, high nickel power batteries have become a general consensus in the industry. The high nickel trend of power batteries also puts forward new requirements for electrolyte additives. According to Battery China.com, at present, domestic companies have invested a lot of money in electrolytes and additives and have achieved corresponding results. They have developed new additives for the direction of high nickel. With the improvement of battery performance requirements, the role of additives has become increasingly important. In the long run, the proportion of additives used should continue to rise. In the past, the production of lithium battery electrolyte has been controlled by Japan and South Korea, and prices have remained high for a long time. With the breakthrough of domestic lithium hexafluorophosphate technology, the electrolyte has gradually realized localization. Data show that in 2015, China's electrolyte production accounted for 60% of global production. At the same time, the localization of electrolyte plays a positive role in reducing battery costs. It is understood that the amount and price of the electrolyte are related to the electrolyte formula and the type of battery. Considering that the current electrolyte accounts for about 5%-10% of the battery cost. Battery China.com believes that the future decline in electrolyte prices will reduce the cost pressure of battery companies to a certain extent.

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